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Thread: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

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    QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    And if you were in charge of Xbox One or PS4, how would you implement such a feature?
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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    Nothing wrong with dropping an expansion card into an N64 to make Perfect Dark run a bit smoother on 4 player split screen with bots...

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    No. The whole point of a closed ecosystem like an Xbox360 is that you can target a static platform. Devs know exactly what hardware they have and exactly how far they can push the envelope. More combinations of hardware also leads to worse stability.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    The issue with mid-cycle upgrades is that you screw the people that bought early into your ecosystem.

    So even with a reasonable upgrade plan with backward compatibility, the original buyers are stuck playing at 900p30 whilst more recent buyers get 1080p60 - because the games start targeting the new hardware and just 'supporting' the old hardware.

    But I think there is a reasonable argument for the XBox One to do it - it's losing massively. If they could double the GPU power whilst keeping everything else the same, then they could claw back lost marketshare through having a more compelling product. So you could see a 14nm XBox One with the same 8 CPUs (running ~2.5GHz now though) and maybe 1536-2048 shaders at 1.2GHz (3.6 - 4.8 GFLOPS) - very compelling.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    I think upgradable storage is fine but becoming almost redundant with cloud solutions.

    As a PC gamer I like upgradability and games which can scale with hardware but i think that's antithetical to a console platform. People buy consoles because they dont want to have to think about compatability etc

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    Personally I think consoles should stay as they are, a known quantity. Devs know exactly what hardware they are dealing with and so can extensively test and refine for that hardware.

    The issue at hand is still entirely valid though, consoles are consistently far behind the curve, and often closer towards the ends of the console's life span that has a significant knock on effect on AAA pc releases, as we don't always see the proper PC refinement that should be there.

    The real trouble though is that theres no real middle ground I feel. If you have upgradeable GPUs for example on a console, suddenly, unless its under very highly controlled instances (1 upgrade per CPU/GPU architecture say), console mid-life upgrades would be troublesome for developers. On the other hand, we can't just roll out a new console every 2 years. The current lifespan of consoles would be alright if they were running top end hardware for 5 years or whatever, but that isnt viable. Meanwhile the lower/midrange parts used in consoles don't tend to hold up 5 years, especially when console marketing is so heavily graphics based. But is it fair to release a new console every 1/2 years in the same way apple releases iPhones? I don't think so, at that point PC pays off even more so than it does not.

    I think, atleast for now, its just one of those accepted tradeoffs. There isn't currently a viable way to boost it without disrupting the static platform. That may change in future, and we may see external GPU's for consoles if they are only done as a mid-life boost, but I don't think full upgradability will work on consoles, may as well buy a PC at that point.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    They shoulda put USB type-C on it or something and made an external GPU enclosure. They could disable the APU's iGPU and overclock the 8 cores. Real discrete graphics horsepower couples with a decently clocked AMD chip would be a lot better than what they're doing now.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    And if you were in charge of Xbox One or PS4, how would you implement such a feature?
    Cease any and all development, set the final version in stone and call that a Console.
    Then go dev up some stunning games on PC and inform everyone that all the best games require the best hardware - If you want cheap junk, go buy [competitor's console]. If you want top end, this is how you use a PC!

    Seriously, they don't make cars for people who can't be bothered with learning to drive (Google Auto-Drive thing notwithstanding and still very limited) and you can't drive a high-end performance car without at least some basic idea of knowing what you're doing... Why should gaming be the same?

    Any upgradeable console would either be so limited in terms of choice and capability, or it'd just be an actual PC inside a case that says XBox on it... which I can make with just an adhesive address label and a biro, rather than whatever small fortunes other companies will spend on developing such a thing.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    Upgradable HDs are a must (like with the PS4,PS3,360 etc). The XBox One you can plug in an eternal HD, but that's a pain in my eyes having another corded box stuck to the console. You also have the choice of putting in a SSHD or SSD if you feel the need to speed up load times.

    Other than HDs though, I don't believe it should be necessary to upgrade other significant parts in consoles, since that is the appeal of consoles.. a static platform that will be supported for years until the next console arrives, which will probably backwards compatible too.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    This again? :/


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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    No. One config means better support even years afterrelease. The last of us released like 8 years into the ps3 cycle and looked AMAZING.
    "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."


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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Seriously, they don't make cars for people who can't be bothered with learning to drive (Google Auto-Drive thing notwithstanding and still very limited) and you can't drive a high-end performance car without at least some basic idea of knowing what you're doing... Why should gaming be the same?
    You're comparing apples with submarines there though. In order to drive a car you need to know how the controls work, steering wheel, pedals and where to put the fuel. That's the same as being able to use a controller and knowing where to put the disk.

    You can (and I have) drive a Lambo, Porsche etc without understanding how the aerodynamics/traction control/fuel injection systems work.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    The Wii was an upgraded Gamecube, and that seemed to work well. Not compatible like in the PS2 having a PS1 chip embedded in it, it seems that the hardware at the core was basically the same just with the ability to enable more performance on the Wii.

    That would work well for the XBone. These consoles get regular silicon shrinks anyway, so MS are probably looking at getting a 14nm version of the 28nm chip fabbed up. At that point, why not add a few shaders, a 50% bump in core clock speed, and have the ability to turn all that off for backwards compatibility with current XBone games.

    So an upgraded platform, not plug upgradeable. I think that is what was originally hinted at by MS.


    If you want plugin upgradeable, just build a SteamOS box.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    Upgradeable consoles have sorta always been around but current generation probably doesn't remember the Megadrive/snes/n64/gamecube upgrades. Or rather the add-ons.
    The only one I would really call an upgrade was the N64 memory expansion.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    Upgradeable consoles are a good idea IMO but the majority of console owners don't want something that's upgradeable, at least i don't think they do, they're less inclined to be shelling out $ after buying the initial hardware, they wouldn't like being beaten in a game because someone may have better hardware, and it would be a hard sell to convince them that upgrading would be worth it, obviously that's just my opinion so it's probably totally wrong.

    I do find it interesting though that Valve are trying to make a PC more like a console and Microsoft are suggesting they want to make a console more like a PC, they're both trying to address a problem but from opposite ends.

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    Re: QOTW: Are upgradeable games consoles a good idea?

    If they introduced an updated model with the same hardware architecture but more cores and the like on a smaller process they would have to make it so that the baseline for games to run is for the original spec but for the newer models you cab run at a higher resolution etc.

    If the architecture changes then programming games would be more hassle and buggier.

    As long as the games developers are made to make it work on the original spec then I don't see a problem.

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